OK, how can Final make Sony-esque low-latency over-ears for this price? I’ll wait

Final Audio UX2000 headphones in cream, on white background
(Image credit: Final Audio)

I'll get straight to it, you need to hear this. Final’s previous ANC over-ear headphone release is best explained in our five-star Final UX3000 review, about which we enthused, "these headphones are either under-priced or over-achievers – either way, they demand a listen, thanks to their articulate sound and excellent specs".

Here's the thing though: those cans launched at $149 / £119 (about AU$200), which is remarkably affordable compared to most of the best noise cancelling headphones around, including the November 2022 Sony WH-1000XM5 with their $399 / $380 launch price. But now, Final has undercut even itself. 

Upon unveiling the UX2000 (which landed today, December 8), Final tells us it has harnessed its award-winning expertise and applied it to a new ANC over-ear proposition – for just £99 / $119. You don't need to be a mathematician to work out that this year's effort is $30 (or £20) cheaper than the 2022 model. Refreshing!

While I'm impressed, I'm also confused. You see, Final just launched its premium ZE8000 MK2 earbuds update, but the Japanese audio brand also unveiled its inexpensive VR2000 gaming earbuds recently – and remember, this is a firm known for multi-driver, ornate IEMs that can feature silver plated cables (see the Piano Forte series if you don't believe me). So what is going on here?

Final tells us that the UX2000 is more than just a new addition to the UX series; it represents Final's commitment to combining state-of-the-art technology with unparalleled audio performance. Final says of the cans: "Whether for gaming, music or calls, the UX2000 is engineered to deliver an unmatched auditory experience, setting new standards in the wireless headphone market."

All of this for $119? You've got my full attention, Final. 

Is that your Final offer? I'll take it! 

Final Audio UX2000 headphones folded up, on white background

Oh, they fold up for easier travel too!  (Image credit: Final Audio)

Final tells us the UX2000 headphones build on the legacy of the UX3000 while introducing their own unique design and features – although if you can't see the resemblance to the iconic Sony WH-1000XM4 I might suggest a trip to your local optometrist. 

The UX2000 feature a premium matte finish that is resistant to fingerprints and smudges, "advanced hybrid noise cancelling technology", a housing structure with multiple points of adjustment for getting that perfect fit, soft ear pads and headband padding, Bluetooth 5.3, up to 45 hours of audio playback and an ENC mic system that promises to eliminate ambient noise for clear vocal communication during gaming sessions.

That's right! New for the UX2000 (aside from their even lower price-point) is a low-latency gaming mode, making them an ideal potential companion for gamers who demand synchronized, high-quality audio. But this mode could also benefit users when watching movies, of course, as long as it does what it says on the tin. 

You'll get up to 45 hours using ANC or up 60 hours without it. 

If pushed for any downsides, I'd note that only the lowlier codecs (SBC, AAC) are supported, so no higher-resolution aptX or aptX Adaptive streaming quality here. But with their admirably classy build and finish, I still think they might give our pick of the best cheap headphones a run for the money and then some for features and comfort. 

They're available in a lovely cream finish or black, but I'm still struggling to work out how Final did it… Suffice to say, I cannot wait to hear them – and to give you a full verdict on the sound-per-pound value. Watch this space. 

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Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.